7 glorious garden homes perfect for sunny getaways
Celebrate spring or bounce into summer by booking one of the following delightful holiday rentals hand-picked for their gorgeous gardens. From bountiful blooms to fragrant herb patches, all are a delight for the senses and encourage you to spend time in the great outdoors as the days lengthen and temperatures rise. Whether travelling with kids who need space to run around or with a partner who loves to relax in romantic spots with you, upgrade your holiday by choosing a property with extensive outdoor space.
Live like aristocrats in Aix-en-Provence, France
The great outdoors begins as soon as you arrive at this handsome 18th-century bastide, or country house, on the outskirts of the historic university town. Its regal driveway is lined with 100-year-old plane trees, while the landscaped gardens lying in wait at the end of the driveway include a shimmering infinity pool, four fountains, and neatly trimmed hedges dividing pathways just made for leisurely strolls in the South of France sunshine. Sleeping 10, the house is a picture-postcard of French country living with painted shutters, flagstone floors, stone hearths, a curving wrought-iron staircase, wooden antiques, and simple, charming fabrics.
Be idle or active in your Ibiza idyll, Balearic Islands
It’s all about alfresco living at this whitewashed house in a plum position on the south of the island, less than a mile from the nearest beach. Its landscaped grounds dotted with palms and other lush greenery come complete with a gem of a pool surrounded by loungers and daybeds, a Balinese-style stilted summerhouse, and an outdoor kitchen with dining and lounge areas. For those feeling energetic, there’s also table tennis and a paved sports area. Inside, the villa is a cool retreat from the Mediterranean heat, with simple white walls, old beams, tiled floors, and four uncluttered bedrooms, some with their own balconies.
Savor the sun in Suffolk, England
A 20-minute drive from Orford Ness National Nature Reserve, this lovingly converted four-person barn overlooking water meadows has large gardens perfect for barbecues, kids’ games, and spotting barn owls and other local wildlife. Ponds and wooden bridges entice you to wander, while the summerhouse with loungers out front invites you to lie back and soak up the peace and quiet. Or scope out one of the hidden seating areas, one in the shade of a willow tree. Interiors mix modern and classic country-style furnishings and include a wood-burning stove. You’re within strolling distance of two country pubs, for the full-on rural fantasy.
Enjoy Moorish-inspired magic in Madeira, Portugal
Sheltered terraces, romantic fountains, and lighthouse and Atlantic Ocean views—it doesn’t get much dreamier than this blue-shuttered villa in a private clifftop setting on the west coast of the gorgeous Portuguese island. And that’s before you’ve clocked the flower-filled garden, the pine grove, or the tiny vineyard. Sleeping eight, this quinta, or country house, includes one bedroom in a tower. Decor throughout is warm and inviting, with a colour scheme of rich terracottas and a sprinkling of Moorish elements including lanterns and colourful tiling. In short: glorious isolation just 10 miles from the nearest beach.
Take time out from the crowds in Tuscany, Italy
Near the Tuscan border with Umbria, in countryside drenched in Renaissance history, this beautifully restored 17th-century stone villa is set in mature gardens dotted by statuary and scented by roses, jasmine, lavender, and herbs. In the midst of this rural idyll sits a drop-dead-gorgeous infinity pool, surrounded by lemon trees and with fabulous views of surrounding cypress and olive groves. You feel a world away from modern life, despite being just two miles from the medieval walled village of Monterchi for provisions. Interiors have a cosy charm, blending original features with simple furnishings; the three bedrooms sleep up to 10.
Make your escape to marvellous Malta
In a charming village in the south of the island, a 20-minute drive from the capital Valletta, this simple but stylish 18th-century house sleeping 14 sits in a vast garden with mature trees, a pond, and a lovely swimming pool. Pride of place goes to the ancient tower overlooking the pool—home to an annex with two bedrooms as well as its own kitchen and living/dining room with fireplace. The main house is clustered around a bewitching courtyard with shady seating nooks, masses of lush potted plants, and a stone staircase wreathed in ivy. All four of the cool and airy bedrooms have private terraces.
Breathe in the sea breezes of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany
Just inland of the seaside resort of Sankt Peter-Ording and Vollerwiek beach, this jewel of a thatched brick cottage, which sleeps four in two bedrooms, nestles in pretty gardens you can admire from the comfort of a beach chair built for two. But let yourself be tempted inside too to make use of the private sauna. The decor is unpretentious, with nautical touches and a log-burning stove. Nearby activities include boat-trips to the seal banks, hiking on the mudflats, bird-watching at Westerhever lighthouse, and cycling along the 400-year-old Norder (Norderbootfahrt) boating channel—part of an ancient Viking route—on the Eiderstedt peninsula.